Pet Friendly Hotels. Do They Make Sense?

Just got a tweet from Poconos Visitors Bureau announcing that another hotel/resort, The Inn at Pocono Manor, had gone “Pet Friendly!” An exclamation point at the end of the sentence indicates that they think this is a good idea. I on the other hand, not so much.

Look, pets are great and I agree that leaving them in a kennel is hardly a vacation for your “best friend” or in some cases, your “baby”, but think of all the other people in the hotel who have not signed on, to spend their vacation, business meeting, or romantic getaway in a hotel that accommodates pets.

These are tough times for hotels as the recession continues to drag on and every market is being looked at very closely to find new business. I get that, but at the end of the day/night is the ROI really there. And if it is not, why do it? I guess my big objection is that most hotels/resorts are still struggling with being guest friendly so how can they go ahead and tackle being pet friendly.

Custom room service menus for gourmet dog food with a hotel logo dog bowl, would be cute, if I knew my room service order was going to be perfect and the trays not left in the hallway till noon the next morning.

The assurance that the room was deep cleaned after the guests with pets left would be comforting, if I was not routinely picking up pen caps, mint wrappers, etc, form under the bed when I go to make sure I left nothing behind.

If a hotel wants to be pet friendly, here are two suggestions:

  • Put a kennel on the property with an activities director and vet on call.
  • Have a patio for outside dining for the pet and their family to visit and dine.

I find it interesting that 20 years ago when I sold for hotels that regularly had dog and cat shows, the hotel was looked down on by upscale customers, now the upscale customers are the ones that are suppose to pay for the $100 cleaning fee, gourmet dog food and custom logo dog bowl.